Launching a scathing attack on Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh, top leaders of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Punjab sat on a symbolic fast Thursday to protest against Amarinder’s “clean chit” given to the accused in 1984 anti-Sikh riots and demanded an apology from him within a fortnight failing which they would demonstrate against him across the state.
Senior leaders of AAP including its state convener Gurpreet Singh Waraich, Harinder Singh Phoolka Jarnail Singh, Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann, Kanwar Sandhu, Sukhpal Khaira, Himmat Singh Shergill, Harjot Singh Bains, Prof. Baljinder Kaur, 1984 massacre victims H S Kohli and Nirpreet Kaur sat on a day-long fast in front of gurdwara Amb Sahib in Mohali.
The AAP has alleged that Amarinder gave a clean chit to his colleagues and Congress leaders Jagdish Tytler and Kamal Nath, accused in 1984 riots. Phoolka, an activist lawyer who has been taking up cases of riot victims, said Tytler’s name appeared in national newspapers on November 5, 1984, as the one who led the mobs against the Sikhs and so it was absolutely wrong for Amarinder to say that Tytler’s name came up only during Madan Lal Khurana’s elections in New Delhi.
Amarinder, who addressed media at his residence today, stuck to his stand that he had not heard Tytler’s name in when he had visited Delhi after riots. “His name cropped up only during Khurana’s election. Now, whether he was involved or not is up to the courts to decide, but I am maintaining that nobody mentioned his name to me. As many as five names came to my knowledge, but not of these leaders,” said Amarinder.
“I have repeated it a thousand times. Do not ask me this question again,” he told the media.
Phoolka, while addressing their demonstration, said Lakhwinder Kaur, a widow of a riot victim, has been fighting a case against Tytler and certain incriminating evidences had come up against Tytler but yet Amarinder was giving him a clean chit.
Phoolka expressed surprise at Amarinder’s claims that he was in Delhi at Sees Ganj and Rakab Ganj gurdwara on November 2 and 3 in 1984 when not even the security personnel were not allowed to move freely.
Jarnail Singh said that on the issue of 1984, the SAD-BJP alliance was hand-in-glove with Congress as the leaders of these parties shielded culprits collectively. He accused SAD leaders of Delhi of pressuring the eye-witnesses in the case to withdraw statements against Congress leaders. Jarnail said the SAD-BJP alliance government had stooped so low that the funds assigned for 1984 massacre were embezzled by its leaders. He demanded a CBI probe in the case.
Jarnail Singh challenged Amarinder for a live debate on the issue of 1984 massacre. He said Amarinder would never accept it as he knew he was on the receiving end on the issue.